Prof. Tieyan Si at the Max Planck Institute for Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany has proposed a quantum mechanical model of how muscles generate force. He believes that myosin bounces between different states and effectively pulls on actin fibers which make the muscle contract.
From the article abstract:
A quantum chain model of muscle fibre is proposed to derive the classical force-velocity relation and tension transients. The myosin motor molecule are viewed as giant quantum particles distributed regularly along a chain. The steady state solution of the Heisenberg equation of density operator leads to the microscopic force-velocity relation. For the quick release of fibre, this microscopic force-velocity relation is coincide with Hill’s empirical relation. As a further application, both quantum two-level and three-level model are applied to explain the tension time course of cardiac muscle and insect flight muscle. Most of the experimental tension transients find their correspondence in the theoretical output of this quantum model. The quantum three-level model fits particularly well with the tension transients of water bug Lethocerus Maximus. New possible tension transient that does not appear in the existed experimental data is produced by this quantum model, we expect an experimental verification.
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Abstract in : One dimensional chain of quantum coherent molecule motors as a model for muscle fibre